The array of knowledge management tools and technology today can be overwhelming. And when your to-do list becomes increasingly long, it can be tempting to try and repurpose existing solutions. But that can create more trouble in the long run.
Think about it this way: it’s pretty challenging to eat soup with a fork. That doesn’t mean that the fork is a useless tool. Quite the contrary, in fact. Forks are exceptionally helpful when it comes to eating a variety of foods. Just not soup.
The same is true for knowledge management software.
For example, many companies use SharePoint as part of their existing Microsoft Suite. Using SharePoint to store all your files, including research documents, might seem like the best option because of its familiarity and convenience. However, when it comes to your market research and insights, you might be better off choosing a specialized solution.
Otherwise, you could be trying to eat soup with a fork.
In this article, we’ll help you evaluate if a specialized knowledge management solution is right for your company.
1. Does it take you a long time to find the research and insights that you’re looking for?
Most large, global organizations have more research and insights than time. Perhaps you have some solution in place to help you find documents more easily, but it’s also likely that you are spending more time than you actually need looking for files.
A specialized solution with Natural Language Processing (NLP) search and a custom vocabulary for your organization can be a great way to save time. Why? Well, it will allow you to find relevant information based on what you mean, not just what you type, and what those terms mean in your particular organization. That way you don’t have to depend on remembering exact file names or topics.
2. Does it require time and/or effort to keep files organized?
One of the main reasons why it can take a long time to find your market research and insights is if keeping them organized takes too much time or effort. For example, if you need to manually tag documents with keywords or stick to a strict file naming convention in order for others to find them, you might put it off or avoid sharing them entirely.
If this sounds like you, it might be a good idea to look into knowledge management solutions with user-friendly upload and automatic tagging. That way you can reduce (or even eliminate the amount of time and effort required to keep your files organized).
3. Do you have a lot of unstructured data and insights?
Some types of information are easier to digest than others. For example, you can generally get a quick understanding within a few seconds from an analytics dashboard. But for unstructured data, like consumer research reports or videos, it typically requires more time and effort to get the same level of understanding.
That’s why the ability to go directly to relevant points in reports (both documents and videos) is essential. A specialized tool that allows you to go straight to search hits, key findings, method, and target group can help you to consume a wider variety of information more efficiently.
4. Are you able to share insights effectively?
In the same way that a specialized knowledge management solution can make it easier to scan reports, it can also help you to share insights effectively. This might be on the basic level of being able to search for and find information that others have shared. But for most large, global organizations, more powerful technology is required to support insights sharing efforts.
Creating and maintaining a consumer-centric culture is a delicate balancing act. If you don’t share enough insights frequently, you run the risk of creating knowledge silos. But if you share too many insights that aren’t relevant too often, then you might have an information overload problem on your hands.
A specialized knowledge management solution can provide you with the array of sharing options you need to create a vibrant culture of insights sharing. So you can easily share insights in the way that works best for you: manually or automatically, to a group or one person, with colleagues or external partners.
5. Do you wish you had more time to focus on proactive (instead of reactive) insights work?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are likely spending more time than you should on tedious admin or repetitive tasks, like tagging files, answering requests for information, or building and maintaining a DIY platform. While this might seem like the status quo, you can and should demand more from the technology that you use.
A specialized knowledge management solution can help you to free up time to spend on high-value tasks, like asking the right research questions, anticipating changes in consumer behavior, and innovating to meet consumer needs better than the competition.
Sharepoint is a great general knowledge sharing tool for large companies. But in order to get the most value from your market research and to let you focus on proactive insights work, you might want to consider investing in a specialized solution to enrich your organization’s overall knowledge management strategy.
If you’re tired of trying to eat soup with a fork, perhaps it’s time to grab a spoon and dig in.